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CFO & Managing Director of Finance, Planning & Strategy

Harvard University

Harvard University

Accounting & Finance, Operations
Posted on Thursday, August 10, 2023


Featured Job

CFO & Managing Director of Finance, Planning & Strategy

Campus Services


Job Summary

Campus Services provides essential services to the Harvard community.  The 14 Campus Services departments have approximately 1,800 active employees (70% of staff are represented by eight unions) and a combined annual budget of more than $700 million.  These departments provide stewardship, strategic support and client/customer services to the Harvard community in buildings and facilities, graduate housing, capital projects, sustainability, real estate, parking, transportation and commuter supports, engineering and utilities, mail, printing and ID card support, dining, hospitality and events management, publishing administration, health and safety, and international support.  95% of these services are offered under market based, competitive cost structures.


Reporting to the Vice President for Campus Services, this position is responsible for providing strategic financial leadership and management in support of the overarching priorities of the organization.  Working collaboratively with the senior leadership team, the CFO develops an organization-wide financial strategy and vision, ensuring alignment with Central Administration business priorities as well as overall University strategy, goals and objectives to support teaching, learning and research.  The CFO will oversee all financial areas of the Campus Services organization, including the management of financial models, rate development, budget development, analysis, reporting, and procurement that provide the business units timely information to inform strategic and operational business decisions.  The CFO oversees the creation and maintenance of the organization’s financial policies, the coordination of financial compliance, as well as risk and audit management efforts in collaboration with university policies and practices. The CFO also works with the departments on routine financial services, business plan development and management, and engagements with University leadership. 


The successful candidate will be an innovative strategic thinker with an open and collaborative style of leadership and management that fosters teamwork, sustains a learning environment for staff, and develops a healthy and deliberate culture in a first-class service organization that engenders trust from the University community. 

Position Description

Key objectives:

  1. Lead strategic financial planning and related processes in support of Campus Services’  needs:
  • Working collaboratively with the senior leadership of strategy and planning and business unit leaders, oversee the management and continuous improvement of the organization’s annual multi-year budgeting, forecasting and financial planning processes, ensuring resources are applied to the highest and best purpose and support the departments’ business plans
  • Develop mechanisms that ensure the linkage of financial and business objectives in anticipation of emerging and future needs
  • Provide guidance and advocacy regarding prioritizing and funding infrastructure investments
  • Support University-wide advisory structures and cross-organizational management teams
  1. Develop the organization’s financial guiding principles, model frameworks, and manage the implementation and ongoing maintenance processes:
  • Develop and manage the financial model frameworks that drive efficient use of resources, leverage infrastructure, support high quality of service and promote strategic decision making and user accountability
  • Consistently perform and communicate analysis on the effectiveness of models and their alignment to business objectives through the gathering of input and soliciting of feedback
  • Participate in continual improvement of the budgeting process through education of department managers on financial issues impacting their budgets
  • Deliver regular updates on the current and future state of the organization’s finances
  1. Oversee the development and management of the organization’s financial services resources:
  • Refine financial reporting models that ensure accuracy, flexibility, and transparency, track the financial success of initiatives, and support senior management decision making needs
  • Support better reporting systems and tools to provide integrated financial information on spending both locally and University-wide, including benchmark comparisons to peers and industry
  • Manage financial and accounting daily operations, creating financial practices that ensure efficient an accurate transaction processing and reporting of financial information
  • Ensure alignment and coordination between the organization’s financial services teams – procurement, controller group, financial reporting & budgeting
  • Advocate for improvements to enterprise systems that support better business analytics and reporting
  1. Minimize the University’s financial risk through the development, management, communication, and tracking of financial compliance and policy oversight efforts: 
  • Align closely with University financial oversight structures to ensure overall accountability regarding the organizations linkage’s to University’s financial strategies and practices
  • Enhance and/or develop, implement, and enforce policies and procedures by way of systems that will improve the overall operation and effectiveness of the organization
  • Manage the development, implementation and maintenance of local financial policies and guidelines
  • Support the CS Controller in overseeing the organization’s internal controls development and audit management processes (A21, PCI, SAS112, GAAP)
  • Understand potential financial risks, vulnerabilities, and control techniques and communicate this information to the appropriate audiences
  • Monitor changes to internal and external financial practices and keep senior management informed about activities affecting the organization
  1. Co-lead a cross functional team of internal shared service providers responsible for advancing organizational strategy and supporting the business units in high-level planning and decision-making:
  • Collaborate to develop a vision for a future state of the shared services unit
  • Engage with business units to identify synergies and opportunities to leverage tools and technology at scale
  • Lead and manage initiatives that cut across the organization

Basic Qualifications

Experience and certifications:

  • 15+ years of progressive experience in the financial management field
  • Experience in higher education preferred
  • MBA/MS or CPA strongly preferred 
  • Demonstrated experience developing and managing a financial operation for a large, diverse organization required to balance financial performance with mission priorities


Required skills and competencies:  To be considered for this role, the successful candidate must also have the following key skills and competencies:  


Organizational leadership:

  • Set the direction for the financial organization; ensure organizational alignment with advancement of that direction   
  • Lead by example, setting a tone of transparency, integrity, and service; demonstrate future-oriented thinking; generate positive energy in the organization; engage authentically and with good humor
  • Communicate clearly and concisely at an executive level – both written and oral
  • Cultivate relationships, gain credibility with diverse constituencies, and collaborate effectively within a decentralized environment
  • Advocates for organizational needs; represents the organization and business units in a positive manner to stakeholders
  • Lead and manage change management efforts at the local and organizational levels


Management effectiveness:

      • Set clear, realistic goals for the team and organization; ensure the continued growth and development of both, including learning and training goals 
      • Mentor, coach, actively provide feedback, and deliver thoughtful, constructive performance reviews to team members
      • Achieve results by holding self and team accountable


Strategic execution:

      • Develop and communicate the ‘big picture’ and long-term goals of the organization to both business units and University leadership
      • Formulate options and drive towards long-term solutions, adapting and reprioritizing as necessary
      • Foster an environment where innovative solutions and approaches to problem-solving are pursued


Financial accountability:

      • Develop and manage an annual budget, continually ensuring resources are applied to the highest and best purpose
      • Consistently perform and communicate analysis and findings for return on investments in key decision-making processes
      • Participate in capital budget planning efforts

Working Conditions

Flexwork Status: Hybrid; 3 or 4 days on campus

Additional Information

Please note:  Harvard University requires pre-employment reference and background screening. 

The health of our workforce is a priority for Harvard University. With that in mind, we strongly encourage all employees to be up-to-date on CDC-recommended vaccines.


We invite you to visit Harvard’s Total Rewards website to learn more about our outstanding benefits package, which may include:

  • Paid Time Off: 3-4 weeks of accrued vacation time per year (3 weeks for support staff and 4 weeks for administrative/professional staff), 12 accrued sick days per year, 12.5 holidays plus a Winter Recess in December/January, 3 personal days per year (prorated based on date of hire), and up to 12 weeks of paid leave for new parents who are primary care givers.
  • Health and Welfare: Comprehensive medical, dental, and vision benefits, disability and life insurance programs, along with voluntary benefits. Most coverage begins as of your start date.
  • Work/Life and Wellness: Child and elder/adult care resources including on campus childcare centers, Employee Assistance Program, and wellness programs related to stress management, nutrition, meditation, and more.
  • Retirement: University-funded retirement plan with contributions from 5% to 15% of eligible compensation, based on age and earnings with full vesting after 3 years of service.
  • Tuition Assistance Program: Competitive program including $40 per class at the Harvard Extension School and reduced tuition through other participating Harvard graduate schools.
  • Tuition Reimbursement: Program that provides 75% to 90% reimbursement up to $5,250 per calendar year for eligible courses taken at other accredited institutions.
  • Professional Development: Programs and classes at little or no cost, including through the Harvard Center for Workplace Development and LinkedIn Learning.
  • Commuting and Transportation: Various commuter options handled through the Parking Office, including discounted parking, half-priced public transportation passes and pre-tax transit passes, biking benefits, and more.
  • Harvard Facilities Access, Discounts and Perks: Access to Harvard athletic and fitness facilities, libraries, campus events, credit union, and more, as well as discounts to various types of services (legal, financial, etc.) and cultural and leisure activities throughout metro-Boston.

Job Function


Department Office Location

USA - MA - Cambridge

Job Code

FN0062 Financial Administration Dir

Work Format

Hybrid (partially on-site, partially remote)


Finance & Administration

Time Status



00 - Non Union, Exempt or Temporary

Pre-Employment Screening

CORI, Criminal, DMV, Drug Testing, Education, Employment, Identity

Commitment to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging

Harvard University views equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging as the pathway to achieving inclusive excellence and fostering a campus culture where everyone can thrive. We strive to create a community that draws upon the widest possible pool of talent to unify excellence and diversity while fully embracing individuals from varied backgrounds, cultures, races, identities, life experiences, perspectives, beliefs, and values.

EEO Statement

We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions, or any other characteristic protected by law.